29th April 2017. Vlotho, Germany.

We set the alarm really early but I got up 15 minutes before it went off, I was worried in case we overslept, we’d already nearly missed the ferry when we travelled over to Sweden and I didn’t want to risk that panic happening again.  While we were having breakfast (coffee and left over pizza) I suggested we move to the ferry port and wait there so we packed up and drove the 5 minutes round the corner.

We arrived just before 8.00 a.m. There was one ferry due to leave before ours, we’d been hoping they’d let us on that one but as we were sent to line 9 to wait we assumed we’d have to wait for the ferry we’d booked.  We were pleasantly surprised when the lorries in the lane next to us went on and then our lane was sent on before all the cars in the other lanes!  The downside to that was that I hadn’t got my socks on, done my hair or my teeth so I had to rush madly around getting ready when we parked on the ferry, mind you it’s a huge improvement on the embarrassing incident when we were waiting for the ferry at Rostock.

We had a nice sailing, it only takes 45 minutes from Rodby to Puttgarden.

The next part of our trip was going to take around 5 hours so we hoped to take a break at the Panzer museum in Munster.

I think my opinion of Northern Germany appears to be correct, they DO have dibs on all the deer in Europe, we saw another herd of deer munching grass in a field beside the motorway.

We found the Panzer museum and had a great time looking round it, there were tanks from countries other than Germany as well as armoured personnel carriers, motorbikes and transportation vehicles.  They also had films to watch and most of the signs were translated into English which was useful.

The buildings were unheated and I was feeling very cold by the time we reached the end of the exhibition so I attached myself to the radiator as we walked into the cafe and the man behind me stopped there too.  He was wearing shorts and I commented to him that he must feel very cold.  It turned out he was an engineer from Melbourne, Australia and he worked in Germany.  His parents were both £10 poms and his Mum came from Dorking originally, what a small world, we used to live there too and our son is in Melbourne at the moment.

We mentioned the tank museum near Weymouth and he said it was at Bovington and that he used to be stationed there in the ’90’s.  That tank museum was so interesting it even held my Mum’s interest which is quite a feat considering the previous day we’d followed her around Monkey World at twice the speed of sound because the monkeys weren’t entertaining enough!

We had a lovely time chatting to him but we all needed to get on.  Before we left the museum we had a quick coffee and ice cream, we were rather perplexed when we were given two long hollow plastic tubes which had an indentation running along the middle, we’ve still no idea what they are for.

As we drove back along the road from the Panza museum we saw a wedding party being held beside the road.   Statues of the bride and groom had been made out of hay bales and photos of their faces were attached to the heads (as you can see in the photo we’ve used at the top of the page), what a great idea.

Continuing on our journey we saw three more fields with deer in them, this is an animal viewing record for us AND we saw three more lorries parked at the side of the road each carrying a blade for a wind generator, these had red tips unlike the previous three we saw on the way to Denmark.

We were very pleased when the SAT NAV showed that we were a minute from our destination, that was until she directed us down a tiny lane that was dissected (just round a tight bend) by a bridge that had a height restriction of  2.5 metres!  Our van is 3.2 metres, which Darren has entered into the SAT NAV.  Darren had to slowly reverse the van back to the t-junction that we needed to turn up and look for another way in to the aire.

It was actually very easy once we got back on the main road, about 100 metres along the main road was a sign showing a motorhome and an arrow pointing left.  We turned down the lane and under a higher bridge and there we were in the aire!  It seems to be very popular with German motorhomers, there were six vans up by the large bridge where there was electric hook up and fresh water and there was another closer to the main entrance so we parked next to him overlooking the river.

I’m not sure how peaceful it will be this evening with the railway line behind us and the large bridge further along the bank to the left of us but it is a pretty outlook.

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